The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) went live for consumers in August last year. Initially, individual UPI member banks had launched this on their respective mobile banking apps. Later, National Payments Corp. of India (NPCI) launched its own app, Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM). If for some reason you don’t want to download the BHIM app on your mobile phone, you can still undertake financial transactions from your mobile phone using your existing apps. Most of these will be powered by UPI. Here are some of the options you can try.
If you have a Truecaller app on your phone, you will be able to make UPI payments using the app. The app helps you identify an unknown caller. Now, you can use this information to make UPI payments as well.
Here is how you can use it. In the updated Truecaller app, you will see a payment section on the left side bar. To start using it, you will need to have a passcode. To initiate a payment, you will also have to setup a virtual payment address (VPA)—which would most likely be in the form of ‘name@upi’—to send money through UPI.
In this case, the partner bank is ICICI Bank Ltd. When you initiate a payment, you will get an SMS from the bank as part of the verification process. The entire payment process will be on the bank’s platform and on the bank’s pages. If you already have a VPA, you can do an intent call which gives you the option to pay via other UPI apps that are present on your smartphone automatically.
“Any user of Truecaller app, including non-ICICI Bank customers, can link their bank account of any bank (participating in UPI) to create a UPI ID,” said Abonty Banerjee, senior general manager and head–digital channels, ICICI Bank. It will also enable you to do prepaid and postpaid mobile recharges on its platform.
Samsung Pay comes in the ambit of contactless payment. Samsung Pay runs on magnetic secure transmission (MST) technology, which is acceptable at 90-95% point of sales terminal. Through Samsung Pay, you can make payments using credit cards, debit cards, e-wallets and UPI.
“In India, debit cards are used more than credit cards. Hence, we have enabled debit cards on Samsung Pay. India is the second largest e-wallet economy in the world; so we work with Paytm integration to allow e-wallet transaction. To allow UPI transaction, we have partnered with Axis Bank for UPI capability,” said Asim Warsi, senior vice-president, mobile business, Samsung (India).
How to use it? If you buy a Samsung phone that is compatible with Samsung Pay, you will get the app inbuilt on the phone. If you are an existing user, you will have to upgrade the phone for the app.
“As a first time user, you need to have a Samsung account. Once you have it, you need to register yourself. Next, you can scan your card and enter the CVV number, you are active to make payments,” said Warsi.
For card payments, Samsung Pay runs on MST and mimics magnetic stripe emulation. “The terminal need not be NFC (near field communication) enabled. All legacy terminals are able to read MST transactions. NFC is a smaller subset that is deployed in the market. MST covers almost all PoS (point of sale) terminals. Currently, (however) it doesn’t work on mobile PoS terminals,” said Sudipta Roy, general manager and business head-consumer cards, ICICI Bank.
The UPI option is likely to go live next week. “It is not live yet. Only the card side has been launched. We are enabling UPI on Samsung Pay. Once enabled, it will take you to an option to enter the PIN and the UPI payment process will run on our bank’s system,” said Sangram Singh, head-cards and payments business, Axis Bank. You will be able to link multiple accounts on the Samsung Pay app for UPI transactions.
Initially, Chillr used the Immediate Payment Service (IMPS) platform for sending money to anyone in your contact list. Now it allows you to do transactions using the UPI platform.
“We now allow UPI member banks to do transactions on our platform. The user doesn’t need to enter a virtual address. It is mapped using mobile number. Earlier, we had to integrate banks one-by-one. With UPI, it happens automatically once you have partnered with one of the member banks,” said Sony Joy, chief executive officer, Chillr. The partner bank in case of Chillr is HDFC Bank.
To use UPI platform in case of Chillr, both the sender and receiver need to download the app. You can then start sending money to the contact number in your phone. At the backend, the money will go through on the UPI rail road.
There are other fintech apps as well, such as TruPay and Mypoolin, that allow you to transact using UPI.
What it means for you
The industry is moving towards building an infrastructure to enable UPI payments. Hence, you can now make use of the apps that are currently in your phone to use UPI, avoiding the need to download multiple apps for payments. You can expect similar developments in this area in the next couple of months.